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Okay, we’ve all said it, “If only I (fill in the blank)” my life would be better, I’d be more fulfilled, etc. If only I had married her or him.  If only I had finished college.  If only I could lose those extra pounds. If only I could quit smoking.  And the list goes on. But you didn’t and here you are. Ruminating on the what ifs in your life can often make you doubt that what you have now or what your current circumstances are somehow would be different and you’d be so much happier, if only. Well, in a way that’s true, things would have been different but you’ll never know.  And that’s the point. It is what it is.

The reality is that the if only thoughts stop you from accepting yourself as you are.  And if you don’t accept yourself, this lack of acceptance ends up being what causes problems that you perceive are limiting your life in the first place.  Okay, so maybe you could lose a few pounds and sure, quitting cigarettes is a good health move besides saving you money and not smelling like a chimney.  The key to moving forward in your life is to truly and deeply accept who you are, flaws, warts, and unwanted behavior.

And, yes, true self-acceptance is one of he hardest things to accomplish in life.  So be patient and tolerant and don’t beat yourself up if accepting that you can’t yet accept yourself is the first thing you need to accept.  If only.

To schedule an appointment with Ben Novell, LMFT,  Janelle Novell, LMFT, RPT-S or any of our therapists, please call 951-252-9911.

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This website contains information about Novell and Novell’s mental health services, our therapists, how to access our services as well as general mental health information. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a mental health professional, diagnosis or treatment. Additionally, this website does not contain or represent a complete listing of all mental health services available or appropriate. Users of this website are strongly encouraged to call or see a mental health professional with any related questions.